I’ve always been a major “book purist”. When e-readers became all the rage, particularly when the Amazon Kindle was introduced, I was one of the biggest whiners about how I needed to feel the heft of an actual book in my hands, the rasp of the paper between my fingers as I turned the pages, the smell of the ink – well, you get the idea. For me, an e-reader simply was not an option. So when I began having some OCD/germ issues with my library books last Fall and Winter, using an e-reader never even crossed my mind.
If you use the public library, I’m sure you’ve come across a book or three with little souvenirs inside: crumbs, stains, hairs, etc. While this has always disgusted me, last Fall, when I found several short, greasy hairs between the pages of Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult, it triggered my OCD tendencies and all of a sudden, library books became a Big Issue for me. Now, I read several books each week, and I count on the library for nearly all of my reading material, so this posed a huge problem. I had to read, but I cringed my way through each and every book… it became so stressful. I didn’t tell anyone about the problems I was having; I didn’t want them to think I was any stranger than they already thought I was…
Then, salvation! Christmas 2012 came, and my best friend called me and told me she had left a gift for me on my porch… It was an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. The sun was shining down on it and angels were singing. I instantly knew that this, this was the answer to my troubles! How did she know?! It was obviously Divine Intervention… I haven’t looked back since. I use my Kindle Paperwhite all day, every day. I take it everywhere I go (Keys? Check. Phone? Check. Kindle? Check!). Actually, I have not read a physical book since receiving my Kindle; it has been e-books all the way. It would be a major life catastrophe if something happened to it. (In a future post, I’ll talk about all of the ways I access Kindle books for free or close to it.)
I know that I will have to confront my OCD issues with library books. I’m a strong supporter of public libraries, and I also don’t want to let something like this take over my life forever. But I now have time to work on these issues without sacrificing my love for reading. A life without reading is a poor life indeed, but thanks to my beloved Kindle I can continue to bask in the richness and magic of books.
How important is reading in your life? What are your thoughts on using an e-reader?